Oconee County School System Chief Operating Officer Claire Buck on Monday returned to the performance of Oconee County Schools in the Spring 2019 state Milestones assessments in her report to the Board of Education.
Anisa Sullivan Jimenez, director of Communications for the school system, had told the Board at its July 29 meeting that Oconee County Schools had performed well in the results of the state testing, released on July 26.
Buck didn’t identify the source of that ranking.
Jimenez earlier had confirmed that it was SchoolDigger.com, which used the state results and its own system of weighting those data to rank the Oconee County Schools as number one, beating out Buford City Schools by one one-thousands of a point.
Niche.com, another rating service, last week released its results, based in part of the state data, and it ranked Oconee County Schools as number 2, behind Buford City Schools.
In another report to the Board at Monday’s work session, Dallas LeDuff, director of Student Services, said the school system had made a number of security improvements at the county’s schools over the summer, including installation of additional cameras at both high schools and installation of a crisis alert system at all schools.
Buck presented to the Board 23 comparisons between the Oconee County School System scores and the overall state scores on the Milestones End-of-Grade and End-of-Course assessments.
|Buck Reporting On Milestones Results|
Oconee County scored considerably higher than the state on all of those comparisons.
Buck said she ranked the Oconee County schools against others in the state on the 23 criteria and said that Oconee County schools ranked in the top 10 on 20 of them.
Oconee County schools ranked fourth on English Language Arts proficiency in the third grade assessment, number 1 in the fourth grade assessment, number 2 in the fifth grade assessment, number 2 in the sixth grade assessment, number 5 in the seventh grade assessment, and number 8 in the eighth grade assessment.
The only other top ranking the schools obtained other than for fourth grade English Language Arts was for End-of-Course assessment for high school algebra, according to the charts Buck released to the Board at the meeting on Monday.
“Kudos to our teachers, our administrators, our students, our parents on those outstanding results,” Buck said after presenting the data to the Board.
SchoolDigger And Niche
SchoolDigger.com, according to its website, is a service of Claarware LLC. The web site states that Claarware LLC is a one-person software development shop, founded in 2006 by Pete Claar.
Oconee County is ranked just above Buford City Schools in Gwinnett County in the 2019 rankings, with Oconee County getting a score of .946 and Buford City getting a score of .945.
Last year, Buford City was ranked number 1, and Oconee County number 2.
SchoolDigger.com also ranks schools, and Oconee County does not have a top-10 elementary school or middle school, but North Oconee High School is rated number 10.
Niche.com, based in Pittsburg, says its 2020 Best School Districts ranking is “based on rigorous analysis of academic and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with test scores, college data, and ratings collected from millions of Niche users.”
Niche gives Oconee County Schools an A+ rating–the same as it gives to Buford City Schools.
LeDuff told the Board that the school system “completed several safety and security upgrades over the summer,” including the additional security cameras at the two high schools and additional access controls at the system’s middle and high schools.
The system also has installed a new visitor management system at all of the campuses, LeDuff said, “which allows us to consistently check in visitors and make sure that only approved visitors have access to our students.”
The system has installed a new crisis alert system at all of the schools.
Each staff member will have a button that can be used to report a problem and the location of the staff member who is signaling the problem, LeDuff said.
These improvements are in addition to existing safety vestibules at the schools, LeDuff said.
The schools also have regularly scheduled safety drills and a “strong partnership with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office,” according to LeDuff.
Brock Toole, chief operations officer for the School System, said that the construction for the North Oconee High School HVAC replacement is “substantially complete.”
The installation of LED lighting at Oconee County High School also is “substantially complete,” Toole said.
The bus air conditioning retrofit project is in the final stages, Toole said. At present, 19 buses remain to be retrofitted with an expected completion date of Sept. 1, 2019, Toole said.
Toole said that work on the roundabout at Malcom Bridge Road and Mars Hill Road is scheduled to begin on Aug. 12.
Intermittent lane closures will be scheduled from August 12 through Oct. 31, Toole said.
I was out of town and not able to attend the meeting on Monday, but Penny Mills did attend and recorded the video below.
Buck began her presentation to the Board at 1:58 in the video.
LeDuff began his presentation at 6:33.
Toole began his report at 12:36 in the video.